Power Outage Information
Power Outage Safety Tips
It is important that those without power use caution when trying to stay warm. Special caution should be used.
- Generators should only be used outdoors, in well ventilated areas. It is not safe to operate a generator in your house, or even in a garage attached to your house, even if the garage is well ventilated. The exhaust from the generator contains carbon monoxide, an odorless, colorless gas that can seep into your house and kill you.
- Don't try to hook up a portable generator to your home electrical service. This not only endangers you, but also utility crews that are trying to restore service.
- Only use appliances that are designed for heating to stay warm. Never, ever, use a gas or charcoal grill, camping stove, or gas stove to generate heat. In addition to carbon monoxide, prolonged use of these devices for warmth could cause them to overheat and lead to a fire.
- One of the greatest threats during times of prolonged power outages are fires caused by the careless use of candles or fireplaces. Also use care when refueling generators and kerosene heaters, as hot surfaces can ignite spilled fuel.
- Take Control in Restoring Power to Your Home. Electrical fires sometimes occur when there is a power surge upon restoration of electrical service to the home. Turn off all electrical appliances and devices that were on before the power went off, including television sets, washers, dryers, space heaters, and lighting. Leave one lamp on so you know when the power is restored.
- Refuel Portable Liquid Fuel Heaters Carefully. Let the heater completely cool off before refueling. Refuel it outdoors, following manufacturer's recommendations. Do not refuel a portable heater while it is operating or if it is hot!
- Do Not Open the Refrigerator or Freezer. Perishable foods should not be held above 40 degrees for more than 2 hours. Tell your little ones not to open the door. An unopened refrigerator will keep foods cold enough for a couple of hours at least. A freezer that is half full will hold up for 24 hours and a full freezer for 48 hours.
- Pack a Cooler if it looks like the power outage will be for more than 2 – 4 hours, pack refrigerated milk, dairy products, meats, fish, poultry, eggs, gravy, stuffing and leftovers into a cooler surrounded by ice. If it looks like the power outage will be prolonged, prepare a cooler with ice for your freezer items.
- Use a Food Thermometer to check the internal temperature of the food in your refrigerator with a quick-response thermometer. A liquid such as milk or juice is easy to check. Spot check other items like steaks or leftovers also. If the internal temperature is about 40 degrees, it is best to throw it out. If the food in the freezer is not above 40 degrees and there are still ice crystals, you can refreeze.
Information Provided by the National Weather Service and the American Red Cross